Hernando, a classic winner in France who may be best known in the U.S. as the sire of 2003 Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT) winner Sulamani, has died.
Lanwades Stud reported the pensioned 23-year-old son of Niniski suffered a fatal heart attack at the Newmarket farm. He was buried at Lanwades next to long-time stud companion Selkirk.
"Hernando had been retired from his stud duties since the close of the 2011 stud season, and his final produce are now yearlings," said Lanwades owner Kirsten Rausing. "He was a most charming character, always kind and co-operative, and he is very sadly missed by us all at Lanwades. I particularly wish to thank the horse's owner/breeder, the Niarchos family, for entrusting him to us at Lanwades, and to his devoted handler, Steve McKeown, who has looked after Hernando at Lanwades for 17 years."
Racing for the Niarchos family, Hernando captured the 1993 Prix Du Jockey Club (Fr-I) (French Derby) and finished second in the 1993 Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I). That season Hernando, who is out of the Miswaki mare Whakilyric, also won the Prix Lupin (Fr-I) and Prix Niel Escaded (Fr-II). In 1995, Hernando won the Prix Gontaut-Biron (Fr-III), finished second to Turk Passer in the Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, and fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Belmont.
Hernando was trained until age 4 by the late Francois Boutin, and after Boutin's death, as a 5-year-old by John Hammond.
Besides winning the Arlington Million, Sulamani improved on his sire's efforts to win the 2003 Turf Classic Invitational Stakes at Belmont and in 2004 won the Pattison Canadian International Stakes (Can-I) at Woodbine. Besides those North American grade I scores, Sulamani, who is out of the Alleged mare Soul Dream, also registered group I victories in three other countries, matching his sire with a 2003 French Derby win, while also scoring in the 2003 Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) and the 2004 Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I).
Through Feb. 24, Hernando's progeny has earned more than $33 million and includes 361 winners from 513 starters. Other group I winners for Hernando include his other French Derby winner Holding Court as well as Look Here, Casual Conquest, Gitano Hernando, and Rainbow Peak.